How a yellow jersey is dividing Brazil’s soccer fan base
Brazil’s footballing landscape has changed in dramatic fashion the last few years. No longer is the nation a country where players go straight from junior club to national teams, leaving their families to build a life in the city, a life which their families will enjoy for the best part of a decade. Now players come to Brazil from all over the world, and most of them leave their families behind. These children, who were raised as Brazilians, are now children of strangers, and they go away to live in foreign countries and build a life on their own terms.
In this context, Brazil’s national team is all things to all people: Brazil are the reigning team of the year, yet it can be very hard to get tickets for a match when your local is not playing. You’re left with the option either to buy a ticket for the game that is being played, or to watch it on TV, but this may be expensive, and in a country where the family budget is low, this makes sense.
But this isn’t just down to the fans. As the national team’s popularity has grown, the Brazilians who are behind the scenes have felt the weight of this. For a long time, the entire soccer world knew that a new system had been at work, where a massive number of Brazilian players were moving to Europe: there was no such thing as a Brazilian pro team in South America. However, there was something that made this feel different; an expectation that the Brazilian soccer landscape would change, that it would be a meritocracy, and that there would be more talent going to a higher level of play.
This is what the yellow jersey is: the symbol of the Brazilian national team competing for the World Cup. At the moment, it is divided by geography of the country, and that is what makes it so hard to get tickets. It could be seen as a symbol of the country